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PhD Opportunity

 | Published on 11/22/2020

Social practices of oral health in Australian preschool children

We are delighted to be seeking a fulltime and highly motivated PhD student to work as an important member of our international team on our ARC funded research project “Social practices of oral health in Australian preschool children”. This project will be a good fit for a candidate experienced in qualitative research with highly developed critical thinking skills and who is passionate about improving health in young children. Billions of dollars are spent annually on dental services in Australia, yet oral disease remains one of the most common and costly diseases of early childhood, despite being considered largely preventable. This PhD project will build on our award winning previous research in this area to address this seemingly ‘wicked’ or intractable problem. It will be guided by social practice theory and focused ethnography to innovatively address ‘the causes of the causes’ of poor oral health in preschool children. Data collection in this qualitative research project will include engaging with diverse communities, observation, interviews and focus groups. The successful PhD candidate will be funded directly through this project and will be based in the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia in Perth. 

“The knowledge to be gained from such an innovative approach will be very useful, not only in oral health but in health promotion and public health more generally.” (reviewer feedback)

Applications are strongly encouraged from candidates with a background and experience in qualitative research (such as sociology, anthropology, social work, psychology, or health promotion) or health related field (e.g. public health, nursing health sciences,).

Selection Criteria:
  • Applicants need an undergraduate degree with Honours, or a Masters degree, in a suitable discipline.
  • Competitive academic record
  • Suitable skills to undertake qualitative research with diverse community members.
  • Evidence of self-directed learning with high level critical thinking skills
  • Evidence of capability to work independently and as part of a dynamic team
  • Meet UWA Research Preparedness requirements
  • Able to commence early in 2021
  • Eligible for UPA co-funding
Key Conditions:
  • The scholarship requires adequate progress on PhD
  • Applicants must be an Australian Permanent Resident Status and not be under bond to any foreign government. Applicants are to provide evidence of citizenship or residential status.
  • Applicants must be supervised and funded at primarily through School of Population and Global Health working on this ARC project, University of Western Australia.
  • Successful candidature year required for progression
Applicants will need to qualify for UPA co-funding. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures, in the competitive allocation of co-funded UPAs preference will be given to domestic or international students who are based in Perth and ready to enrol in the first half of 2021.

Deadline 10am 3rd December 2020 but may accept a suitable applicant prior to that date and we encourage you to contact us early and discuss your interest (Submission for UPA Scholarship closes 4th December).

Please contact Professor Linda Slack-Smith (08) 64884505